On a cold winter’s day, there’s no place cozier than in front of your fireplace. To stay warm and enjoy blazing warmth throughout the winter safely, it’s important to keep your fireplace and chimney well maintained. Winter brings rain, snow, sleet, and ice and all of that moisture can do major damage to your chimney.
Protecting your chimney from water damage will extend its life as well as protecting the rest of your home from damage. As you winterize your home to make sure the colder months go off without a hitch, consider your chimney flashing and waterproofing.
Chimney flashing is the sheet metal material that connects the top of your chimney to the line of your roof. Its purpose is to seal the seam off and create a watertight seal. Over time, the flashing can become rusty and corrode, developing cracks and holes. These breaches allow water to make its way into your home around the base of your chimney. Chimney experts say that most chimney leaks are found in the flashing.
If a leak develops in the flashing around your chimney, it can be dangerous to your home. When water leaks into your roof and the structure of your home, it can cause water damage and rot in the joists and studs. In addition to causing discoloration and sagging, this can lead to dangerous mold in your home.
Most chimney masonry materials like bricks, mortar, and stone absorb and retain water easily as they are highly porous. In winter, the water that is absorbed into these materials freezes and thaws, expanding and contracting with the freeze-thaw cycle. This can lead to leaks or weakness in the structure of your chimney.
Waterproofing with a sealant solution will protect your chimney and home from this type of damage while still allowing your chimney to breathe and function as normal. As you prepare your home for winter weather, having your chimney flashing inspected should be on your list. An annual inspection will allow any damage to the flashing to be repaired before leaks have a chance to develop. Additionally, an experienced chimney sweep will be able to inspect the rest of your chimney for any needed waterproofing.
Give me a call at 610-626-2439 if you’re not sure whether you need to worry about chimney maintenance including waterproofing, cleaning, and inspection. One of the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service can inspect your chimney to make sure it’s properly serviced each year.